Chimney Corner

Cape Breton Island is full of long, sandy and deserted beaches but none is as hidden as Chimney Corner.

Heading south along the Cabot Trail, visitors find themselves at beautiful Margaree Harbor and a fork in the road. Both directions are beautiful in their own unique way but if you are seeking a quiet, sandy beach away from the crowds that congregate on the bigger and more well-known beaches, I advise you to turn in the direction of Chimney Corner.

The drive through Chimney Corner is a scenic one with forest on one side and the ocean on the other. Few people realize that there is a hidden beach located in the area. It’s hard to find but if you keep a watch out for a driveway that turns towards the water on the left hand side of the road, you will eventually find it. I can’t say for sure which driveway it is because I even have some trouble finding it sometimes. You may turn down a few wrong driveways before finding the right one but it’s not a big area so trial and error will prove to be worthwhile in the end. You’ll know you found the right one when you come to a parking area near some sand dunes. After a short climb over the dunes, you are on Chimney Corner Beach.

Sometimes, there are a few dozen people on the beach but most times, it is deserted. This fairly long, sandy beach is often visited by a dog that lives nearby and loves to mingle with beachgoers. The water is suitable for swimming with very little seaweed and rocks and for some reason, the water seems warmer at this beach than other beaches in the area. A walk to the left brings beachgoers to an area that is home to an old settlement that was long abandoned but part of the weather-beaten house still stands below the cliffs. Evenings on the beach are spent around the fire and bonus…the sunsets on this side of the island are spectacular!

Andrea MacEachern is a freelance travel writer and amateur photographer living in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

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